Tax Preparation Specialists
New for 2011
Listed below are the major changes, including income tax changes that have been announced
but were not law at the time of printing. If they become law as proposed, they will be effective for
2011 or as of the dates given. For more information about these and other changes, go to
CRA's website under General Guide.
Ontario Sales Tax Credit/Ontario Energy & Property Tax Credit - When the Harmonized
Sales Tax (HST) came into effect, people who qualified received the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, a
quarterly payment to compensate lower income earners for the HST, instead of the one-time
payment they previously received when they filed their income tax returns. A new Ontario
Energy Credit was added to the Property Tax Credit and was credited to those who qualified,
particularly seniors, when they filed their tax returns. This will no longer be the case; the Ontario
Energy & Property Tax Credit together with the Ontario Sales Tax Credit will now be paid
monthly and will be known as the Ontario Trillium Benefit. This is a significant change for
those who have been used to receiving a tax refund for property taxes.
Split income of a child under 18 – A child under 18 may be subject to the tax on split income
in respect of dividends on shares of a corporation. After March 21, 2011, any capital gain from
the disposition of those shares to a person who does not deal at arm’s length with the child, will
be deemed to be a dividend. This deemed dividend is subject to the tax on split income and is
considered to be an other than eligible dividend for the purposes of the dividend tax credit.
Volunteer firefighters’ amount – As a volunteer firefighter, you may be able to claim an
amount of $3,000.
Children’s arts amount – You can claim an amount for eligible expenses paid for the
registration or membership of your child in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational,
or developmental activity.
Allowable amount of medical expenses for other dependants – The maximum $10,000 limit
per eligible dependant has been removed.
Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) – If you are eligible to receive CCTB payments, you must
notify the Canada Revenue Agency of any change to your marital status by the end of the
month following the month in which your status changes. However, in the case of separation, do
not notify us until you have been separated for more than 90 consecutive days. For more
information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/cctb. Beginning July 2011, each eligible parent in a shared
custody situation will get half of the child benefit and credit payments for that child every month
that they qualify.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions – As of January 1, 2012, the rules for contributing
to the CPP changed. The changes apply to you if you are an employee
or self-employed, you are 60 to 70 years of age, and you are receiving a CPP or Quebec
Pension Plan (QPP) retirement pension. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/cpp. To
find out how the changes may affect your CPP benefits,
go to www.servicecanada.gc.ca/cppchanges.
Students – More examination fees now qualify for the tuition amount. In addition, the minimum
duration of courses taken at a university outside Canada has been
reduced to three consecutive weeks for amounts claimed on line 323.
Meal Expense Claim for Long Distance Transport Employees - Effective January 1, 2011
the deduction for meal expenses has increased to 80%.
What’s new for 2011?